The government says it acted with reasonable speed in responding to the disaster at Silver Moon and Cricket mines in Battlefields where 24 people were confirmed dead while 8 others were rescued following flooding of the two mines last Tuesday.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Polite Kambamura says the dewatering of the mines took long as rescue teams were using light pumps.

The Deputy Minister said heavy duty pumps could not be used as the size of shafts entry points are too huge.

Cde Kambamura’s clarification comes after criticism over government’s alleged slow pace to rescue trapped miners and retrieve bodies of victims from the two adjacent mines.